Here is our 2016 round-up of fab festive events to take your pick from…
Hestercombe Gardens – we always like to start with one of our favourites & there are many options at the beautiful Hestercombe
From Saturday 3rd December
Glide around on our artificial skate rink housed in our magical winter marquee.
Private hire of the skating rink is available. Check website for full session times and prices.
‘Catch a Falling Star’ Trail
Family friendly garden trail
Saturday 3rd December – Monday 2nd January
Follow our wintry trail and see if you can find the stars scattered around the gardens. Discover some facts about the stars we see in the sky and create your own Christmas card as you go along.
Normal admission applies.
Wreath making workshops
Sunday 4th & Monday 5th December – 10am & 2pm
Join florist Sarah Pepper for a workshop to make your very own Christmas wreath to hang on your door at home or a twiggy garland to deck your halls.
From Saturday 10th December
Visit Father Christmas in his folly in the Landscape Garden where the log fire will be roaring and sacks of presents will be waiting (illuminated path to see Father Christmas lit from 4.30). See website for full session times and prices.
Folksy Theatre presents ‘A Christmas Carol’
Sunday 18th & Monday 19th December, 3pm – Bampfylde Hall.
Come and see Folksy Theatre’s bring this much-loved Christmas tale to life. Using live performers, puppetry and music, this production brings something a little different to the story.
For further information on any of the events happening at Hestercombe please go to www.hestercombe.com/christmas
Wookey Hole, Somerset
Wookey Hole is a magical place to visit at Christmas time. There is plenty to entertain the whole family including a visit to Santa for children to receive their free gift and a fantastic Christmas Circus Show. This year the caves will be transformed into a Magical Underground Kingdom.
When? 21st November to 24th November
How much? All tickets are £15.
For further details click here
Wyevale Garden Centres
Wyevale have a very exciting event happening this festive season…breakfast or tea with Father Christmas 12th November -24th December.
From just £9.99 for children & £3.99 for adults little ones can enjoy a a delicious festive meal, plus receive a special present from Father Christmas and enjoy some biscuit decorating along with other fun festive activities. Breakfast is available from 3.00pm & tea is available from 9.00am. You can book here for availability at the Cheddar centre.
At the Brent Knoll Wyevale centre breakfast or tea with Father Christmas is also available. Why not combine this with a visit to Paulos Circus for some added excitement this Christmas with a great selection of circus acts & prices starting from just £6. Further details available here
Or you can get caught inside their giant inflatable snow globe perfect for a Christmas portrait! Entry to the snow globe is £8 for up to 6 people and no booking is required.
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Visit Bristol Zoo this festive season and meet Santa in his grotto. There will also be reindeer and dazzling animal shaped lights around the zoo.
When? Saturday 3rd December to Friday 23rd December. Normal admissions apply.
How Much? Tickets to the grotto are £5
Enchanted Christmas at Bristol Zoo
Alongside the usual festive fun and Christmas lights at the Zoo, this year there will be new and exciting theatrical journeys to discover and enjoy. For three nights the zoo will become a playground to discover magical characters, playful puppets and for you to become a part of the seasonal stories.
When? 16th, 17th and 18th December
How Much? Standard ticket price £20.
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Join Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm for the reindeer dash around the 1 mile track, suitable for the whole family. Also enjoy Christmas craft making in the courtyard using recyclable materials while listening to Christmas carols sung by local choir groups. You can also meet and feed the real Reindeers.
When? Saturday 3rd December
How much? Adults £18.00 Children 2 – 16 years £12
Wild Place Project, Nr Bristol
This winter Wild Place Project has half price entry from December to February half term.
You’ll be able to see and feed Santa’s reindeer and visit Santa in his Yurt and receive a special gift.
Plus, you can buy your own tree from the onsite Christmas tree shop, have a ride on the festive train.
When? December 19th – 23rd. 10am – 4pm. Pre-bookable slots with Santa.
How Much? Entry is £3.60 for an adult and £2.90 for a child (online price).
Tickets for Santa’s Yurt available here http://www.wildplace.org.uk/whats-on/christmas-at-wild-place-project
The Big Sheep, Devon
There is lots going on at The Big Sheep this Christmas.
Toddler Takeover Christmas Specials (6th, 7th, 8th & 9th December) where pre-schoolers will be entertained with a magical Christmas light show, writing letters to Santa, Christmas crafts and Gingerbread decorating.
There is also Wooly’s Winter wonderland for all the family where you can meet Santa in his grotto for your Christmas gift, alongside all the other attractions of The Big Sheep including ice-skating, tobogganing, a magic light show & Ewetopia the Big Sheep’s indoor play area.
You could also enjoy Breakfast with Santa on Sunday 18th & Monday 19th December.
How much? Adult or child over 3ft – £6.50 online price.
Child under 3ft – £2.50 online price.
Christmas season at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort includes 12 days of festive fun complete with 20 rides and attractions, awesome Christmas themed activities, music and magic. For the first time ever, there will be a Christmas takeover of the world famous Miniland with mini Christmas lights, Christmas market and a special ‘flying’ appearance from Santa.
Children can visit Santa in his grotto and receive a Lego toy.
When? Selected dates in December
How Much? Pre-book at £35 per person, children under 2 are free with the option to pay £5 to receive a gift from Santa.
Join Santa in his grotto for story time and to receive a free gift. You can also enjoy some of Crealy’s outdoor rides and fun. To stay warm there is over 75,000 square feet of indoor adventure with plenty of soft play or have fun petting the creatures in the animal barn.
Tried & tested “We went last year and Jasper & Daisy (5 & 3) loved it! They loved the outside rides that were open and when it rained we could make the most of the soft play. Santa’s story time and singing were very sweet!”
When? 3rd & 4th, 10th & 11th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December
How Much? Save 20% by booking online. Infants under 92cm free. Between 92cm and 1m £9.56 (online price) Over 1m tall £11.16 (online price) Family tickets are available.
Westonbirt , The National Arboretum
An illuminated celebration of Westonbirt’s wonderful trees. At the end of the trail you can find Christmas activities and meet Father Christmas dressed in traditional green and receive a token gift.
Warming Festive refreshments are available.
When? Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 25 November to 18 December 2016.
How Much? Adult tickets £12, children £6 and children under 5 are free.
West Somerset Railway
Santa services are running throughout December. You will enjoy a steam train ride through the glorious Somerset Countryside and meet Santa to receive a gift suitable for their age and gender. Enjoy a traditional festive drink and a mince pie along the journey.
The Santa Express – Bishops Lydeyard to Williton and Return or Minehead to Williton and return.
The Santa Specials – Minehead to Blue Anchor and return. A short train ride and then alight to visit Santa in his grotto.
This year all trains will also include a children’s entertainer.
When? The Santa Express – Saturday 3rd December – Saturday 24th December
Santa Specials – Sunday 18th December to Saturday 24th December.
How much? Santa Express & Santa Specials. – Adults £14.50, Children under 1 £3.50, Children £12.00 Booking is essential.
Ice Skating Fun!
Brewery Square, Dorchester
Skating in the Square starts on November 26th with the start of the Christmas lights illumination, late night shopping and mulled wine.
The skate rink has a fabulous Christmassy feeling and you can make a day of it with a cinema trip to see one of the Christmas blockbusters and a visit to one of the many restaurants at Brewery square.
Or how about joining them on Saturday 17th December. The brilliant Ice Queen, inspired by the film ‘Frozen’ returns from 2pm until 4pm in The Square. Children can also make Christmas crafts and visit Santa’s Grotto in aid of Weldmar Hospice.
Tried & Tested Jess says “This has become an annual event for a large group of friends now. The ice skating is great for the kids with toddlers of 2 & 3 years able to join in as well. We all have a super time and combine it with lunch out at Wagamama’s. One of my favourite festive outings!”
When? Skating rink open from November 26th – until New Year’s Eve.
How much? £6.00 per person. Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Cribbs Causeway Winter Wonderland, Bristol
Take a visit to the shopping mall and take your pick from all the festive fun they have on offer. Ice skating on the South West’s largest outdoor ice-skating rink. Seal skating aids are available to hire for children under 8 years old.
Visit Santa’s enchanted ice castle to meet the man himself as well as The Ice Queen and her fairies and every hour watch the enchanted castle’s magical light display. Or take a ride on the festive train through the shopping mall.
When? 10th November to 8th January
The enchanted castle is open every day up until Christmas Eve.
How Much? Skating – Adult skating tickets are £9 peak and £6.50 off peak, child (under 12) £7 peak and £5.50 off peak, Family tickets are available.
Visit Santa in his castle – £5.50 a ticket and include a gift.
Christmas Train ride – £2.00
Millennium Square Ice Rink, Bristol
Why not take a whole day at Millennium square to enjoy the ice skating rink. With lots of special sessions planned over the festive season including Little Boots sessions for under 8s, Disco Boots evening sessions or skate to a Christmas movie – Cool Runnings or Arthur Christmas playing on the big screen.
Combine this with a visit to At-Bristol and a look around the Millennium Square’s Festive Fair.
When? 5th November to 3rd January
How Much? Skating tickets start at £6.50 – 10% off when you book on line.
Nothing beats going along to a pantomime or Christmas show with the whole family. Here is our pick of the best around.
The Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
The annual pantomime this year is Peter Pan.
When? 2nd December 2016 to 1st January 2017
How much? £12.00 – £22.00
The Brewhouse, Taunton
Around the World in Eighty Days
When? 10th – 31st December (Times Vary)
How much? Adults from £17.50 Children from £14. Family tickets are available.
The Egg, Bath
Back by popular demand The New Adventures of Snow Mouse perfect for 3 months to 4 years.
When? 15th December 2016 – 22nd January 2017
How much? Adults £8.50 children £7.50
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
Cinderella: A Fairytale
Recommended for children age 6 +
When? 2nd December to January 22nd.
How Much? Tickets from £11. Family tickets are available.
Cinderella with Torvill & Dean.
When? Saturday 10th December 2016 – Sunday 8th January 2017
How Much? Tickets start at £12.00
National Trust Events
Santa’s Grotto – a very special visitor will be stopping by on the 17 – 19 December, 2.30 – 6.30pm. If you would like to see Santa please call 01643 821314 to book.
Normal admission applies. £4 including present.
Christmas through the ages & an illuninated walk 4, 9 – 11, 16 – 21 December, 2 – 7pm
As the light fades the castle will be spectacularly lit and dressed for Christmas, each room reflecting a specific time period from Victorian to the 1950’s.
An illuminated winter walk will lead you around the grounds, stopping off at the Watermill and tea-room along the way. Don’t forget to visit the stables shop for that perfect festive gift.
Normal admission charges apply.
At the spectacular Barrington Court you will find Father Christmas tucked away in his his study, surrounded by his books & there’s a cosy chair for little ones to sit on. Each child that books in to see him will go home with a lovely gift. Father Chrristmas at Barrington is very popular so booking is essential. £9 per child Book here
Montacute House, Yeovil
Visit this winter and see the beautiful Montacute House illuminated in beautiful tones & colours. Entrance for the Lantern of Light begins 4pm with bookable times every 15 minutes till 5.45pm.
Pay at visit to the courtyard cafe as well where there will be a variety of seasonal treats on offer 🙂
You can visit Father Christmas in his workshop, little ones can do some crafts with one of his elves in his busy workshop & you can write a letter to the North Pole.
From Friday 9th December 2016. Book online
As always, there is lots going on at Tynetesfield this festive season. From a carriage ride to see Father Christmas to festive family woodmaking where you can go along and help construct your own reindeer out of Tyntesfield timber.
You can find out about these events & more here
And…if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet head over to our offers page for some fantastic discounts from brilliant businesses
THIS YEARS CHRISTMAS ROUND UP IS SPONSORED BY THE WONDERFUL STUDIO H PHOTOGRAPHY BASED IN WINCANTON.
Husband and wife team, Graham and Trixie Hiscock are both passionate about Photography. Graham specialises in Weddings, Commercial projects and Social events whilst Trixie’s in her element in the studio, photographing newborns, babies, kids, families and teens. Contact now for 2017 wedding availability. Thank you for your support Graham & Trixie.